PBA: Louie Alas says Phoenix wanted him to resign

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2020 02:26 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2020 02:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Former Phoenix head coach Louie Alas was asked to resign by the team, a week before he was sacked by the Fuel Masters.

Alas revealed on "The Chasedown" last Saturday that Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia sent him a letter of resignation, which just needed his signature.

"Sabi ko, I cannot do that," said Alas. "I cannot do that… I cannot do that, 'yung magsa-sign ako sa piece of paper na nagre-resign ako na hindi naman ako nagre-resign."

Phoenix announced that it had "discontinued" Alas' services as its head coach last September 11. Alas coached the Fuel Masters for three years, twice leading them to a conference semifinals.

Alas stressed that he did not want to resign from his post, as he does not want to give the impression that he quit on his team.

"Ang sinasabi ko nga sa kanila, willing akong ilaban ang team na 'to mula umpisa hanggang dulo, unless kung may nalalaman sila na mas maganda, na ikagaganda ng team," he added.

In its statement, Phoenix said they came to the decision to part ways with Alas "after much deliberation." However, the coach said that there was no need for the team's management to come up with excuses for his firing.

"Noong pagpirma ko dito, pagpirma ko sa kanila, if you feel na 'yung performance ko is nagdi-dip na, wala kayong kailangang gawing justification or whatever, just let me know," he said.

"Alam ko ang basketball dahil andito na tayo. Fifty-six years old ako, siguro 40 years nasa basketball. So in and out, alam ko lahat 'yan," he added.

Despite the sudden firing -- and the revelation that he was asked to resign -- Alas chose to take the high road. In a statement after his departure from the team, Alas expressed his gratitude to the franchise and wished them well, particularly interim head coach Topex Robinson.

As for his next move, Alas remains undecided. 

"At this point, ine-enjoy ko muna ang pagka-fire sa akin," he said in jest.